The scene is disturbingly realistic: Two men lie on the floor with very convincing fake blood pooling around them. Others in the room are screaming in fear. A siren is heard in the distance. Several men and women arrive with stretchers and medical gear to treat the “wounded,” while two men pose as police to attend to the upset onlookers, who shout, “That’s my friend!” and “You’re not working fast enough!”
This is just one of the scenarios that the Black Fire Brigade’s EMT program uses to prepare students for work on the job.
“This is what they’re gonna see,” explains Stanley Williams, a 34-year Chicago Fire Department veteran and director of education for the Black Fire Brigade. “If we just show them a couple videos they probably will get on the scene and they could freeze up on you. Because it’s pretty dramatic. You have dogs running through the scene, sirens, noises. We’re just really trying to give them a taste of what to expect. We want to turn out the best people.”